Sunday, July 22, 2007

WHEN THE PEASANTS REVOLT





We are in Belize, in the tropical rainforest and it's really hot here. There is a lot of poverty in the surrounding villages. We visited Altun Ha, the name given ruins of an ancient Maya city 30 miles north of Belize City and about 6 miles west of the shore of the Caribbean Sea.

We climbed to the top of the largest of Altun Ha's temple-pyramids, the "Temple of the Masonry Altars." A drawing of this structure is the logo of Belize's leading brand of beer, "Belikin".

Our guide was an amazing scholar, a young guy who stood six foot four and could have been descended from Mayan kings. He told us that the Mayan peasants revolted against the corrupt kings, which helped end the Mayan empire.

There were no beasts of burden here. The peasants were forced into slavery, and forced to carry heavy stones on their backs. They were short in stature due to lack of nutrients (the best food was always saved for royalty.) The kings were very tall, as they always had the best crops, the best of everything. The kings forced the peasants to live in fear of never earning a place in the afterlife, a few levels above hell. They forced them to constantly build large temples. In Mayan culture everyone went to hell, but you could earn points toward heaven. So the slaves lived with this fear that if they did not obey the lords, they would spend eternity in hell.

Finally the peasants revolted. Without slaves, the elite could not survive, for they never did any hard labor and could not live without the workers.

Doesn't this sound familiar? What's going on now with Steve Schwarzmann and the Blackstone Group, Haliburton, and the 400 other multi-billionarire elitists who run our world, is a travesty. These private equity billionaires pay no taxes (only 15%) and even Buffet admitted he pays less tax than his housekeeper (respectively.)

Sorry this is rushed but the internet is sporadic on the island.

We are in Xanadu! Our kids went night diving and saw a huge octopus changing colors, as well as a giant rainbow parrot fish and a green eel with a monster head.


The Scmooze Award recap

We have gained many new regular commenters here. Two new friends with wonderful blogs of their own, have separately bestowed the popular Schmooze Award of which Larry named 5 more to pass the award onto.

Thank you Tomcat of the widly popular Politics Plus and also to the popular Betmo of Life's Journey for the award, and for your comments here.

The people that this award will be passed to have become regulars here on Lydia's blog and elsewhere, and they each have excellent blogs of their own. It's hard to choose five people, with so many making a presence on various blogs.

Mirth of Liberally Mirth has a popular blog which can be attributed to Mirth's daily visits on various blogs, that bring many to want to visit hers.

Chuck and Karen of Divided States of Bushmerika2 make their way around dozens of blogs, and really do have the art of schmoozing down pat.

Tom Harper of Who Hijacked Our Country has been appearing on many blogs including this one, leaving his thoughts on the issues of the day. Check out his blog, it's a good one.

Jim of An Average American Patriot makes his way to various blogs commenting on the way our country is headed. Check out his blog.

The very popular Lynn of Zelleblog writes some great articles. Check her blog out.

143 comments:

  1. Hey are you calling us peasants?

    :|

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay, I'll change it. When "Workers" revolt.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually, the peasants thing might be more appropriate ... that's pretty much how dubbledum and Herr Cheney view us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Actually "slaves" revolt is more like it. If they can get slave labor... as they are trying to do by never raising the minimum wage...

    ReplyDelete
  5. NOOOOOOO. I didn't mean to change it. I was making a joke. The title was fine you nut.

    Change it back.

    ReplyDelete
  6. NEVER change the title of an article. Once its named, its named.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The other one was poetic and had a ring to it. Never ever lose that by messing with it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. If the article was about the trolls you could have called it, "when the pissants revolt".

    ReplyDelete
  9. Make no mistake about it, the people who need to revolt live in Nevada, and they need to revolt, by electing someone other than Harry Reid.

    Harry Reid is the biggest obstacle to the Democratic party doing what they were elected to do that there is.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sen. Feingold proposes censuring Bush

    AP 1 minute ago
    WASHINGTON
    Liberal Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold said Sunday he wants Congress to censure President Bush for his management of the Iraq war and his "assault" against the Constitution.

    But Feingold's own party leader in the Senate showed little interest in the idea.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Feingold's proposals showed the nation's frustration.

    But Reid said he would not go along with them

    ReplyDelete
  12. Harry Reid needs to go. Nevada needs to find a new Democrat to represent them.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't know why the right wing was so against Harry Reid and Pelosi becoming leaders of their respective houses of Congress.

    They've been running interference for them since the day they took over.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Harry Reids little overnight session accomplished nothing, and was just a stunt and a poorly choreographed one at that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Meanwhile, he and Granny Pelosi block every bill with teeth that stands any real chance of holding Bush or the rest of them accountable, or of bringing our troops home.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Interesting description of your trip to Belize. Yes, Bush/Cheney and the largest global corporations are definitely today's counterpart to the kings and lords of ancient Maya. It's time to revolt again.

    Who Hijacked Our Country

    ReplyDelete
  17. This was amazing to learn more about how a culture treated it's people and the Fate that became it....and haunting...if only we could learn from History....I don't know if we can...I can only hope...Lydia you always have such thoughtful pieces....

    ReplyDelete
  18. oh , one more thing Bartlebee asked if we are peasents- well, in the eyes of the Bush regime we are, we ALL are.....and the middle class is vanishing at an alarming speed....

    ReplyDelete
  19. I consider myself more of a serf actually.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Lydia
    Glad your all having a great time and thank you. I feel I owe you all and hope to return the favor. Can't I reelect you?
    Anyway, I keep saying that us revolting is the only thing that is going to get anything concrete done for our America. I would be there yesterday but sadly most Americans will not and do not know the brevity of their and the worlds situation.
    Average Americans have certainly earned the right to take to the streets in Bush's great new order economy. The only thing that will get Congress to do the right thing is us and we are rapidly running out of time.
    I am increasingly convinced Bush will act on Iran or elsewhere before Congress can get it together. Have a great vacation and take a break for now!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Worfeus
    Feingold is right but Bush should have been censured as soon as Democrats took over. At least the effort should have been made.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I don't think Lydia's article was advocating physical inssurection.

    Nor is it probably a good idea to publically endorse such a notion, unless of course your goal is to be placed on a watch list and actively investigated for treason.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Or have the blog placed on a watch list.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Which it probably already is thanks to the troll scum.

    ReplyDelete
  25. But I do agree with the idea that we need to get to the polls, and elect people who are willing and capable of standing up to the republicans.

    ReplyDelete
  26. And that means replacing Pelosi, Reid, Hoyer, and the rest of the bums.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Worfeus
    You may be right and I have had some mega problems with trolls especially on kos and have mysteriously had numerous articles deleted. I was being monitored regularly but we have to do something to save ourselves.
    I think I just decided to drop everything, write my thoughts on just my own site, and Blogging here

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Lydia!

    Nice article! ;)

    I got your email... glad you're having a wonderful vacation.. relax and enjoy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. If Reid doesn’t play ball then Lieberman will switch sides, and give the repbulicans the majority. They’ll renig on their agreement to let the Dems retain control, and shoot down everything out of the house until Bush is out office.

    Reids traded the lives of our servicemen and our liberties for some domestic housecleaning bills and a shot at minimum wage. He’s a hack and is the number one obstacle to ending the occupation of Iraq, and restoring our constitutional rights and liberties, like the unequivocal right to habeas corpus. Until Harry Reid feels the screws tighten, he won’t do a damned thing about the real issues we face.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Worfeus
    There is no real effort to get us out of Iraq or to get anything else constructive done.
    Nothing constructive for our America not Bush's will get done until Bush is gone. That is another issue!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Carl stated"Thu!

    It's good to hear your voice once again! How have you been, sir?

    I see where the court threw out Valerie Plame's case on some bizarre technicality, thus neatly avoiding talking about the real grounds of the case."

    Good to hear from you as well Carl, I see you and the others played a integral role in vanquishing the ruffians and sods that infected and were a blight on this blog, in my absence.

    I feel the quality and honesty of the discussion has certainly increased in their absence, however regretably I rather enjoyed besting and dominating the dishonest dotards.

    As for the Valerie Plame trial, I would wager the fat lady has not yet sung regarding this matter; on the other hand I am quite certain the foppish Freedom Fan has given up the ghost here and resigned himself to being the court jester with that sardonic wit of his at the ruffian blog, as he has quite evidently learned not to tangle with his betters.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Carl stated"It's interesting to see the type of people that are attracted here, after we worked so hard to clear out the trolls.

    Good work guys."

    I quite agree Carl, however as I stated earlier, though the dishonest ruffians that infected and were a blight on this blog detracted from legitimate and intense debate, I regrettably must confess that I derived a small minute level of amusement from besting and humiliating them on a regular basis.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Stupendous post Ms Cornell and fabulous pictures.

    Most Americans are either to obsessed with working or lack the financial resources to go on extended holiday and truly explore and appreciate the magnificent world we reside on.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nay, please do not alter the original title, I am in agreement with Bartlebee, "When Peasants Revolt" is far more powerful a title.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Reuters:

    The dollar fell to a record low against the euro on Friday and was on track for its sixth straight weekly decline, weighed down by fears that losses in risky mortgage debt would hurt consumers and slow U.S. growth.

    The greenback also tumbled against the yen as investors unwound bets on risky assets such as stocks and emerging market debt, prompting a slide in U.S. share prices and a broad bid for U.S. Treasury debt that sent yields near six-week lows.

    Defaults on subprime mortgages, made to borrowers with weak credit, and mounting losses on bonds backed by such debt have rattled financial markets and soured general dollar sentiment.

    The economy is "surging" downward.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Job growth has nearly ground to a halt in San Diego County, raising the risk of a recession later this year, two economists who track the local business climate said Friday.

    The latest monthly employment report shows that woes in real estate and construction have spilled over into the local economy, said the economists, Kelly Cunningham of the San Diego Institute for Policy Research and Alan Gin of the University of San Diego.
    ...
    Gin, who compiles a monthly index of leading economic indicators, said last month that his numbers indicated a recession was possible. His index has been fallen in 13 of the last 14 months, signaling a steady deterioration in San Diego's economy.

    The chance of a recession is "getting higher," Gin said. "I wouldn't say over 50 percent, but it's not infinitesimal.

    "The culprit is real estate," Gin said....

    Cunningham said that nonresidential real estate construction has also begun to slacken.

    "The commercial side of it is starting to see slowing down," Cunningham said. "So both of those things together seem to reflect a slowing economy and perhaps pulling us into recession."

    The beginning of the Bush "surge" recession.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Turkey’s Islamic-rooted ruling party won parliamentary elections by a wide margin Sunday, and the prime minister pledged to safeguard the country’s secular traditions and do whatever the government deems necessary to fight separatist Kurdish rebels.

    With more than 99 percent of votes counted, television news channels were projecting that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party would win 341 of the 550 seats, down from 351 in the outgoing parliament.

    Turkey preparing to overtake Bush's oil fields.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Bob Schieffer is disgusted that the Iraqi Parliament is going on vacation while our troops our dying.

    "We need to put aside the dream of building a democracy in Iraq and focus solely on what is in OUR national interest. It won't be pretty.

    Tell em Bob!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Quite interesting that you chose to comment on the doller's decline Larry, there is a reason behind this phenomenon.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thu:

    The reason is the idiot in chief.

    ReplyDelete
  41. While the Bush administration attempts to pressure Congress into quick consideration of a U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Peru, a nationwide strike in Peru against the controversial NAFTA expansion reveals the depth of opposition to the pact, which also has failed to garner support from a single U.S. union or environmental, consumer, health, anti-poverty, faith or family farm group, said Public Citizen.

    Today’s strike is being led by teachers unions, peasant farm groups, indigenous organizations and unions representing mining and manufacturing workers. Conveagro, an organization composed of nine million farmers and rural workers of the coast, highlands and tropical forests of Peru, last Thursday launched a series of events to lead up to today’s national strike. Daily demonstrations in Lima and other cities across the country have culminated in the two-day strike in which numerous organizations are participating. Civil society leaders in Peru demanded that the Peruvian government cease the Peru FTA consideration and implementation process.

    “It is a great irony that the Bush administration has once again fallen back on that desperate argument of last resort – that the deal is good foreign policy – just as public opposition to NAFTA expansion is intensifying in Peru, and the FTA is a source of growing resentment against the United States,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division. “If the United States hopes to build a stronger relationship with Latin America, it needs a policy agenda that reaches across borders to the Peruvian people – not just the Peruvian counterpart of the U.S. elites who support the NAFTA model.”

    Since NAFTA – which contains the same agriculture and foreign investor rules as the proposed Peru FTA – went into effect in 1994, 1.3 million Mexican peasant farmers have lost their livelihoods, Mexican industrial wages have declined, nearly 30,000 small independent businesses have collapsed, and annual immigration from Mexico to the United States increased 60 percent in the first six years of the pact alone. Additionally, scores of domestic, non-trade laws have been challenged before foreign tribunals established under the “trade” pacts, including laws on zoning, toxics and mining.

    At the same time, the United States has seen its trade deficit balloon to nearly $800 billion, three million manufacturing jobs sent offshore and median real wages remain stuck at 1970s’ levels – even as U.S. worker productivity has soared.

    “It is no surprise that protests in Peru are large. The Peru FTA threatens to displace millions of farmers, expose basic environmental, zoning and public health laws to challenge in foreign tribunals and lock Peru into an unpopular failed privatized social security system,” said Wallach.

    Peruvian religious leaders have weighed in against the agreement. Monsignor Pedro R. Barreto Jimeno, S.J., Archbishop of Huancayo of Peru, said in a letter to the U.S. Congress, “To recall some words of Pope Benedict XVI, ‘We cannot remain passive before certain processes of globalization which not infrequently increase the gap between the rich and the poor worldwide. We must denounce those who squander the earth’s riches, provoking inequalities that cry out to heaven.’ We would be very much in your debt if, when you consider the U.S.-Peru FTA, you take into account the negative effects that [it]… could occasion on our poorest populations, for whom we as the Church have a special concern and pastoral preoccupation.”

    Despite the demands by the archbishop, the congressional majority-making Democratic freshmen and others, the Peru FTA still contains most of the harmful, NAFTA-style provisions that have led to rural displacement in Mexico.

    “Peruvians need greater access to health and retirement services, but the Peru FTA will restrict access to affordable medicines, hamper needed regulation of health and other service sectors and impede efforts to fix what has been done to privatize social security,” said Julio Castro G√≥mez, the National Coordinator of ForoSalud, a coalition of health advocacy organizations in Peru. The Peru FTA grants foreign investors excessive rights that could chill efforts to reverse Peru’s failed social security privatization that is nearly identical to a proposal pushed unsuccessfully by the Bush administration for the United States.

    In a demonstration of how widespread the rejection of the NAFTA model is throughout the hemisphere, the Peruvian strike comes on the eve of strikes in the Dominican Republic, which implemented the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) only one year ago. Strikers in the Dominican Republic demanded the repeal of CAFTA with 70 percent of Dominicans polled saying that the Dominican Republic’s economy is going in the wrong direction.

    “Only two years after CAFTA squeezed through Congress on the narrowest margin for a trade deal ever – and only one year after implementation in the country – the Dominican Republic is seeing the devastating effects of the failed NAFTA model,” said Todd Tucker, research director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division and author of the CAFTA Damage Report. “No more countries should be subjected to the damaging policies imposed by overreaching international trade agreements.”

    Why didn't people stand up against Nafta and we wouldn't have such a mess.

    ReplyDelete
  42. CBS News/New York Times poll: "How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right: just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time?"

    Just About Always -- 2%
    Most of The Time -- 22%
    Only Some Of the Time -- 71%
    Never -- 5%

    ReplyDelete
  43. Regarding the lack of action by many of the rather weak willed Democratic leadership, let me just say this:

    Listen to what you hear?

    Precisely tis far to quiet. there should be much more fervor to remove farcical and depraved Bush Administration that has infected our government and been a blight on our fair country from the fabric of our society.

    Before I bid you all a good evenig, ponder this:

    "Tis Always Darkest Before The Dawn"

    and

    "Tis Alway Calmest Before The Storm"

    The dishonest media is surpressing justified the fervor to excoriate President Bush and his corrupt administration from the fabric of our society, just as the powerful bankers and financiers are artificicially surpressing the fall of the dollar.

    And know this, anything being surpressed and manipulated, once that inertia is broken will move in the opposite direction quite powerfully, irresistibly and in a rather violent and uncontrollable manner.

    Gentlemen, the tide has turned and once that tide gains momentum it will be a Tsunami that the powers of misrule will not be able to stop, manage or control.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Good evening Larry.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thu:

    I haven't seen you around for awhile. I was afraid you were sent to Iraq.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Lori Gay cannot join a union: "I am in charge of the pencil," she laments. Lori is a registered nurse at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, where she estimates she spends about 10 minutes a day filling out an assignment sheet for the next shift of nurses. But that's enough for her employer to say that she is a "supervisor," which makes her ineligible to join a union.
    Lori is not alone. She is one of potentially millions of workers whose right to join a union was stripped away last year in a court decision granting companies leeway to reclassify workers with even minimal supervisory duties as "supervisors."

    Thankfully, there's a bill in Congress that will stop this 'supervisor scam.' Please write to your members of Congress now and ask them to co-sponsor the RESPECT Act:

    Under U.S. labor law, "supervisors" are not allowed to join unions. So reclassifying workers is a quick and easy way for companies to stop union organizing drives. It's also a cheap trick: this 'title change' does NOT come with a raise or more responsibilities.

    With this policy, the Bush-appointed majority of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has robbed workers in nearly every industry of their right to form or join a union. Nurses, quality control inspectors, and retail employees are just some of the potentially millions affected who need unions to secure better working conditions.

    It's disheartening that the very agency that is supposed to protect a worker's basic right to form a union took away those rights. Only Congress has the power to restore them.

    Another freedom Bush has stolen!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Doesn't this sound familiar? What's going on now with Steve Schwarzmann and the Blackstone Group, Haliburton, and the 400 other multi-billionarire elitists who run our world, is a travesty. These private equity billionaires pay no taxes (only 15%) and even Buffet admitted he pays less tax than his housekeeper (respectively.)

    Sorry this is rushed but the internet is sporadic on the island."


    Excellent article Lydia, and cool pictures, I commented on the injustice of the private equity and and hedge fund elitist fat cats not paying their FAIR share of taxes last week its despicable and NEEDS to be pointed out just as all the other corruption because there are many not aware of the depth of injustice and criminality this administration is pushing along with their self serving agenda.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I agree with MCH and Bartlebe, I prefer Peasants as the title instead of workers.

    i'd say the repugs are the types to say "let the peasants eat cake.........BUT the truth is they are so greedy they want their cake and want to eat it too.

    ReplyDelete
  49. BARTLEBEE said...
    If the article was about the trolls you could have called it, "when the pissants revolt"."

    well with revolt in the title I can see you thinking about the trolls...........since they certainly ARE revolting.......what a pefect name for duncetron since he IS revolting!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Aren't we all peasants in the eyes of the powerful?

    ReplyDelete
  51. WORFEUS THE SEER said...
    Make no mistake about it, the people who need to revolt live in Nevada, and they need to revolt, by electing someone other than Harry Reid.

    Harry Reid is the biggest obstacle to the Democratic party doing what they were elected to do that there is."

    I agree, REED is a joke, he's a gutless marshmallo!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Run Pelosi and Reid out of the Congress, then see if there are any left with spine.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Larry said...
    Aren't we all peasants in the eyes of the powerful?"

    Certainly the greedy repugs.........but there are some very decent wealthy and powerful people Like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates. George Soros, Ted Turner......etc.......who are much more wealthy, successful.........and even MORE important wise and generous.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Did you see Meet The Press Today.........Mike Mconnell the guy in charge of intelligence gathering basically said he was appalled and disgusted with how the Bush cronnies have cooked and manipulated intelligence to deceive people.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Mike:

    The counter of that are the delirious madmen of the world like Rupert Murdoch, who has a desire to take control of all media.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I saw that phony. He made that statement before he got his job, now he says Bush and Cheney tell him everyday they want to hear his honest opinion.

    Another liar. They destroy people who tell the truth.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Feingold was great on MTP he needs people to support his Censure..........I AGREE with Patriot that the Democrats SHOULD have done this immediately........but better late than never........besides think of all that will come out in an electionyear the people were deceived by the lies and manipulations of Bush and Cheney, and in an election year the truth NEEDS to get out there so people can make a more educated informed decision in 2008.......and a Censure is a good way for that to happen IF it gets the coverage it deserves.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Ted Turner said Rupert Murdock is the MOST dangerous man on the planet.......because he deceives people and sways public opinion with propaganda and lies.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I think the censure is a waste of time. It gives the spineless Dems something to claim they have done.

    What is a censure. It says Bush was a bad boy. That doesn't stop him.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Murdoch is trying to buy up the worlds media, to control peoples thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  61. WORFEUS THE SEER said...
    I don't think Lydia's article was advocating physical inssurection.

    Nor is it probably a good idea to publically endorse such a notion, unless of course your goal is to be placed on a watch list and actively investigated for treason."


    I agree with Worf on this one as well........I think the pen will prove mightier than the sword........the truth has been surpressed as Patriot and Thu have said, and once the truth comes out and people become more educated about what has gone on it will be curtains for the "Deceiver".....oops freudian slip, I MEANT "DECIDER" and his pack of war criminals and brownshirt cronnies!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Patriot I agree that essentially nothing constructive will get done till Bush is gone........but on a positive note the minimum wage did just go up.

    ReplyDelete
  63. If people don't stand up soon, they will be sitting in a state of eternal martial law,Bush style.

    ReplyDelete
  64. BTW, good to have you back Thu!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Do They Deserve This:

    Despite record-low approval ratings, House lawmakers Wednesday voted to accept an approximately $4,400 pay raise that will increase their salaries to almost $170,000.

    The cost-of-living raise gets lawmakers back on track for automatic pay raises after a fight between Democrats and Republicans last year and again in January killed the pay hike due this year. That was the first interruption of the annual congressional pay hike in seven years.

    The blowup came after Democrats last year fulfilled a campaign promise to deny themselves a pay hike until Congress raised the minimum wage. Delays in the minimum wage bill cost every lawmaker about $3,100 this year.

    Raise for doing what: Kissing Bush's feet!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thu said...
    Carl stated"It's interesting to see the type of people that are attracted here, after we worked so hard to clear out the trolls.

    Good work guys."

    I quite agree Carl, however as I stated earlier, though the dishonest ruffians that infected and were a blight on this blog detracted from legitimate and intense debate, I regrettably must confess that I derived a small minute level of amusement from besting and humiliating them on a regular basis."


    Great point Thu and Carl, the discussion has been much more intelligent and interesting without the trolls insults, personal attacks and derailment..........we all did our part in defeating them............but it was priceless seeing you Clif and Carl shredding the Fool!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Patriot had a post Saturday that went right along with what Worf has been saying about Pakistan.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thu you also raise a EXCELLENT point on how the Europeans live much better than we do...........they have MUCH more vacation, better health care and the poverty and inequities are MUCH less as well.

    ReplyDelete
  69. They also have superior healthcare since they aren't entirely overrun with corporate dollars.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Patriot sent me this today it is a chilling read and agrees with what Worf and I have been saying over the past couple years.

    Experts learning U.S. Iran war is coming but do not realize China and Russia have an unpleasant...

    Experts learning U.S. Iran war is coming but do not realize China and Russia have an unpleasant surprise for them called the assassins mace!
    Citing Iranian involvement with Iraqi militias and Tehran's nuclear ambitions, the Bush administration has shifted to offense in its confrontation with Iran - building up the U.S. military in the Persian Gulf and promising more aggressive moves against Iranian operatives in Iraq and Lebanon.
    The behind-the-scenes struggle between the two nations could explode into open warfare over a single misstep, analysts and U.S. military officials warn.
    Iraq has become a proxy battleground between Washington and Tehran, which is challenging - at least rhetorically - America's dominance of the Gulf. That has worried even Iraq's U.S.-backed Shiite prime minister, who - in a reflection of Iraq's complexity - also has close ties to Iran. Iran and the United States are already sparring on the ground. http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/iraq/16589962.htm

    Those that have been following my line of discussion on this issue know that I have been saying all along that the additional 23,000 troops being sent to Iraq in the name of the surge were actually being sent there in order to have them ready when Bush was prepared to attack Iran.
    Yesterday we heard General Casey say we only need 1/2 the troops for the surge. That is just a small sign to me that we are right saying Bush's attack on Iran is imminent.We have also discussed that If or should I say when Bush ignores once again all advice to the contrary, this time to attack Iran as he must do for his Bonesmen and their new world order, China and Russia would come in to help them against us.
    And remember this! None of the so called experts have mentioned this in light of China's recent shooting down of one of their own satellites. While Russia is continuing to supply Iran with missiles and China has just joined the U.S.A. and Russia in the ability to take out satellites, particularly "ours".
    China has just shot a timely shot across our Bow, a warning to Bush! that he will stupidly ignore ! Just remember, as I always said, Bush will use coming to Israel's rescue as his excuse to be forced to attack Iran! http://www.cnn.com/...
    We discussed that when all is said and done Russia, China, the 135 non aligned Nations, North Korea, and everyone else Bush has alienated will come out against us.
    With that as an obvious scenario it blows me away to hear that Bush co thinks sanctions against Iran are working, that they will intimidate Iran, and that we may be bringing the surge troops home by the summer.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. those soldiers will be permanent as this takes a turn Bush refuses to see. Like I continue to say, the thing that kills me is that Bush stupidly thinks his sanctions are working and he ignores the meaning of China's satellite shoot down as they and Russia will in the end protect their interest and come out against us.
    Then yesterday someone sent me this horrific information to worsen all my fears and you know Bush must and will ignore this reality to as he attempts to prosecute his new world order that will fail miserably.
    This is horrible and it is called the Assassins mace! If America ever goes to war with China, Chinese military doctrine suggests the US should expect attacks on a number of key points where it is particularly vulnerable - where a single jab would paralyze the entire nation. China would aim at targets such as the US electricity grid, its computer networks, its oil supply routes, and the dollar. Other vital "acupuncture" points are outlined below.
    The coming together of China and Russia was one of the most earth-shaking geopolitical events of modern times. Yet hardly anyone noticed the transition from bitter enmity to a solid geopolitical, economic, diplomatic and military alliance. The combined strengths of the two regional powers surely surpass that of the former Warsaw Pact.
    If we add Iran to the equation, we have a triumvirate that can pose a formidable challenge to the lone superpower. Iran is the most industrialized and the most populous nation in the Middle East. It is second only to Russia in terms of gas resources and also one of the largest oil producers in the world. It is also one of the most mountainous countries in the world, which makes it ideal for the conduct of asymmetric and guerrilla warfare against a superior adversary.
    Iran borders both the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, two of the richest oil and gas regions of the world. Most importantly, it controls the gateway to the Persian Gulf - the Strait of Hormuz. Modern bottom-rising, rocket propelled sea mines and supersonic cruise missiles deployed along the long mountainous coastline of Iran, manned by "invisible" guerrillas, could indefinitely stop the flow of oil from the Gulf, from which the US gets 23% of its imported oil. Just imagine if we ran out of gas? China Russia and Iran could bring us to our knees! Anyway, Then Following the missile barrages, the remnants of such weakened US military bases will easily be overwhelmed by blitzkrieg assaults from Russian and Chinese armored divisions in the Eurasian mainland. China, for instance, has four large armored units constantly on standby, poised to cross the Yili Corridor in Xinjiang province at a moment’s notice. The US base in Kyrgyzstan near the Chinese border would not stand a chance. Then it gets much worse! They have an intricate surprise for Bush called an assassins mace with 10 deadly spikes! Remember China's harmless test shoot down of their satelite? Instantly all ours will be gone in a most devious way and well as our supposed dominant 10 carrier groups. Gone! Please read this entire set up. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/HJ20Ad01.html
    It is quite sobering and worse, you know Bush will ignore it to stick with the Bonesman's plan as he must!


    Russia and China call for Destruction of U.S. as Putin pulls ships from U.S. coast to prepare...

    Russia and China call for Destruction of U.S. and Putin pulls ships from U.S. coast to prepare for Bush's attack on Iran in April!
    Yesterday I reported on the story about the Russian Chinese Assassins maceand some thought I was concerned for nothing! This is horrible and today it is even worse! If America ever goes to war with China, Chinese military doctrine suggests the US should expect attacks on a number of key points where it is particularly vulnerable - where a single jab would paralyze the entire nation. China would aim at targets such as the US electricity grid, its computer networks, its oil supply routes, and the dollar. Other vital "acupuncture" points are outlined below.
    The coming together of China and Russia was one of the most earth-shaking geopolitical events of modern times. Yet hardly anyone noticed the transition from bitter enmity to a solid geopolitical, economic, diplomatic and military alliance. The combined strengths of the two regional powers surely surpass that of the former Warsaw Pact. If we add Iran to the equation, we have a triumvirate that can pose a formidable challenge to the lone superpower. Iran is the most industrialized and the most populous nation in the Middle East. It is second only to Russia in terms of gas resources and also one of the largest oil producers in the world. It is also one of the most mountainous countries in the world, which makes it ideal for the conduct of asymmetric and guerrilla warfare against a superior adversary.
    Iran borders both the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, two of the richest oil and gas regions of the world. Most importantly, it controls the gateway to the Persian Gulf - the Strait of Hormuz. Modern bottom-rising, rocket propelled sea mines and supersonic cruise missiles deployed along the long mountainous coastline of Iran, manned by "invisible" guerrillas, could indefinitely stop the flow of oil from the Gulf, from which the US gets 23% of its imported oil. Just imagine if we ran out of gas? China Russia and Iran could bring us to our knees! Then Following the missile barrages, the remnants of such weakened US military bases will easily be overwhelmed by blitzkrieg assaults from Russian and Chinese armored divisions in the Eurasian mainland. China, for instance, has four large armored units constantly on standby, poised to cross the Yili Corridor in Xinjiang province at a moment’s notice. The US base in Kyrgyzstan near the Chinese border would not stand a chance.
    Then it gets much worse! They have an intricate surprise for Bush called an assassins mace with 10 deadly spikes! Remember China's harmless test shoot down of their satelite? Instantly all ours will be gone in a most devious way and well as our supposed dominant 10 carrier groups. Gone! Please read this entire set up. http://www.atimes.com/...
    Then I got 2 more corroborating stories sent to me. Very provocative especially since Bush the idiot looked in Putin's eyes and saw his sole and an honorable man. that idiot! Yesterday
    I learned this about Russia and China and U.S. Destruction!
    It is not nice to say that major powers like China or Russia seek the destruction of the United States. It is not nice to say that Russia and China are governed by thugs. But anyone who studies the foreign policies, chicanery, secret maneuvers and war preparations of Beijing and Moscow cannot honestly conclude otherwise. The fact that Russia and China are both assisting Iran’s development of nuclear weapons is more than suggestive. It is no accident that in America’s struggle against radical Islam, the Russian president has declared that Russia is Islam’s "best friend." Before the fall of the Communist Party Soviet Union the central goal of Soviet foreign policy was to foster the downfall of the United States and the communization of the entire world.
    China, on the other hand, is a great country that suffered eclipse during the period of Western imperialism and colonialism. So China has reason to predicate its policy on the notion that "one good turn deserves another." The reason for China’s opening to the West was not to enrich the Chinese bourgeoisie, or to adopt Western democratic values. The Chinese Communists sought an opening to the West so that they could get the investment capital and technology they needed for a modern military machine. Developing their economy is merely a necessary step in developing China’s new superpower status.
    What about the Russians? All the leading intelligence defectors and dissidents from Russia seem to agree that the Kremlin ordered the death of KGB/FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko for outing the fact that Russia trained Ayman Al Zawahiri!. Why should that surprise us after what we did to them in Afghanistan ? Under present circumstances, no American politician would suggest a return to the Cold War but I certainly do and worse. And so, the Kremlin advances on every front, in broad daylight, unchallenged and unfettered – nationalizing industries, muzzling independent newspapers and silencing opposition voices with bullets and radioactive poison. What do we suppose the Russian leadership is up to? http://www.financialsense.com/...
    Then it gets even more telling as Russian Military Analysts are reporting today that President Putin has signed an order for all Russian Naval and Merchant vessels to be out of US port facilities on the Eastern Coast of the United States by March 17th. This order, according to these reports, are in anticipation of a US/Israeli led attack upon Iran expected no later than the end of April.
    The dates set by the Western Nations for their attack upon Iran are due to the stepping aside from power of the American War Leaders last Western Ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is due to leave office this spring, and as we can further read as reported by China’s State Media Service Xinhua in their report titled "Kuwait media: U.S. military strike on Iran seen by April", and which says:
    "U.S. might launch a military strike on Iran before April 2007, Kuwait-based daily Arab Times released on Sunday said in a report. The report, written by Arab Times' Editor-in-chief Ahmed al-Jarallah citing a reliable source, said that the attack would be launched from the sea, while Patriot missiles would guard all Arab countries in the Gulf http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/...
    Knowing what we discussed yesterday, this is all a recipe for a major disaster! The Russia China Assassins Mace! http://www.dailykos.com/...

    ReplyDelete
  71. Health insurers block progress toward universal health care. Big Oil corrupts our energy policy. Banks and lenders make money on the backs of college students forced to repay huge loans. Agribusiness benefits from government subsidies at the expense of small farms.
    This was Barack Obama's populist message this morning at the Adeline C. Marston Elementary School here, one of three public campaign stops in the last two days in New Hampshire. To Republicans, casting business as an enemy of change may sound like a tired trope of the left. But Obama laid the blame for inertia on health care, energy independence, and other issues squarely at the feet of select industries and their lobbyists.

    On health insurance, for example, Obama repeated his pledge to sign a universal health care bill by the end of his first term, saying, "I shouldn't have better health insurance than you since you're paying the bill for my health insurance.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I believe every bit of that. Blair is the3 Mideast envoy, will incite Israel to attack Iran, so Bush can supposedly come in to help Israel.

    World War III is coming quick.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Patriot I have also thought the surge was to have troops there ready to attack Iran.............Worf and I have also discussed the Russian Chinese Alliance and see it the same way you do...........Russia and China will not just snooze and do nothing as GWB tries to dominate and control the straegically imprtant oil and gas rich Middle East to further his plan for world domination.

    MAD or having nukes is meaningless in the 21 century.........in the 21st century the Super Powers control the Energy resources and that is precisely why China and Russia are not going to sit back and allow Bush free reign in the Middle East.

    ReplyDelete
  74. The latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that nearly a quarter of Republicans are unwilling to back top-tier hopefuls Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain or Mitt Romney, and no one candidate has emerged as the clear front-runner among Christian evangelicals. Such dissatisfaction underscores the volatility of the 2008 GOP nomination fight.

    Gingrich will jump in next. Another corrupt war lover.

    ReplyDelete
  75. BTW Patriot as I said yesterday you nailed it when you said Bush is pursuiung the policy of nihilism..........because THATS exactly what he is doing he is trying to destabilize the world.........particularly the Middle East and our OWN country so he can implementand push his self serving agenda of a New World order.

    ReplyDelete
  76. The repugs are a JOKE Larry, as bad as the Democrats were in 2004 and they were pretty bad, the repugs are 50 times worse!

    Its like yoiu look at that bunch of fascist misfits and say.........let me try and see which one is the best of the losers!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Turkey is getting ready to head for Bush's illgotten oilfields, while Pakistan gets ready to explode.

    ReplyDelete
  78. The Repugs are so arrogant they either can't see how pathetic they are, or they are too stupid to admit it.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I agree with Worf and Patriot that Pakistan is a powder keg that could potentially start WW3 or come back to bite us, however I dont think a War with Pakistan would have the immediately devastaing results as a war with Iran would......Iran is a Major oil and gas super power and controls the access to the all important straight of Hormuz where I believe 22% of our imported oil and 70% of the worlds oil exports pass through.......an attack on Iran would make our economy implode and life as we know it would be over we would have chaos, violence and Anarchy........it would Essentially be Katrina in New Orleans magnified 100 fold!

    ReplyDelete
  80. M

    Larry said...
    The Repugs are so arrogant they either can't see how pathetic they are, or they are too stupid to admit it."

    I think its BOTH!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Larry said...
    Turkey is getting ready to head for Bush's illgotten oilfields, while Pakistan gets ready to explode."

    Bush is indifferent.......see controlling Iraq and its oil was the plan but now that things arent working out Bush is using the nihilism destabilization route to justify a prescence in the Middle East........right now he is TRYING to escalate and destabilize the region so pulling out wont be an option.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Worf says Bin Laden has 70% approval among the people of Pakistan.

    If Bin Laden and company take over Pakistan, they also take the nukes.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Larry said...
    Worf says Bin Laden has 70% approval among the people of Pakistan.

    If Bin Laden and company take over Pakistan, they also take the nukes."

    That sounds about right, i've heard anywhere from 60% -80%............so in otherwords MORE people support Osama than Musharef!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Since Bin Laden has that popularity, and Bush is hated by all there, it would be easy for Bin Laden to incite the people for revolt.

    ReplyDelete
  85. The thing is i'm not really sure Bush and the Neo Cons care what happens in Pakistan.........GWB has CLEARLY shown us time and time again over the last 6 years that he doesnt REALLY care about capturing Osama, or fighting the REAL war on terror or making our country safer..........all he really cares about is power and money and controlling the oil and gas in Iraq and Iran is a means to both ends including in his eyes world dominance............have you ever seen and heard Bush speak he oozes arrogance like Hitler before him.......it seems like he wants people to worship him and fawn on and applaud his EVERY word.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Bush has to be the most arrogant person in the country, and that says alot, comparing him to Delay and Cheney.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Here is what the world thinks of Bush's mistress:

    I remember the heady days for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    About 2 1/2 years ago, when she was new in office, I accompanied her on her first trip around the world, with stops in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and China. Crowds gathered to see her limousine drive past; people whistled, waved and cheered. Interviewers routinely asked her whether she was planning to run for president. One TV reporter in India told her she was "arguably the most powerful woman in the world." She chuckled but did not exactly agree -- or disagree.

    How things change.

    A few months ago, she decided to write an opinion piece about Lebanon. She enlisted John Chambers, chief executive officer of Cisco Systems as a co-author, and they wrote about public/private partnerships and how they might be of use in rebuilding Lebanon after last summer's war. No one would publish it.

    Think about that. Every one of the major newspapers approached refused to publish an essay by the secretary of state. Price Floyd, who was the State Department's director of media affairs until recently, recalls that it was sent to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and perhaps other papers before the department finally tried a foreign publication, the Financial Times of London, which also turned it down.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Bush and Hitler:

    The only Americans who still approve of Bush’s follies are the same people who’d probably stand in line to see the musical “Springtime for Hitler. The Bush Administration, of course, has brought America into such disrepute across the globe that many abroad openly compare George Bush to Adolph Hitler. Such comparisons, needless to say, can seem fatuous. After all, Hitler orchestrated a world war that killed upwards of 50 million people, including the extermination of more than six million Jews. Bush, whatever his faults, is not in Hitler’s league. However, there are some disconcerting parallels between Bush’s regime and the Nazis that deserve attention. Highlighting these similarities is not meant to demonize the administration, but rather to make sure its less savory tendencies do not get further out of hand.

    The following characteristics are associated with Hitler and the Nazis: 1) the Fuhrer was assumed to be infallible, 2) Nazi officials expressed no remorse or responsibility for their actions, 3) propaganda efforts were relentless, 4) the world was divided into us vs. them, 5) opponents and critics were always accused of pernicious motives, 6) the Nazis believed warfare was man’s natural state 7) the Fuhrer was the law, 8) laws were merely a veneer to cover the naked exercise of raw power, 9) the Nazis believed Germany was surrounded by enemies on all sides, 10) the Nazis believed Jews were fifth columnists, 11) and the power hungry Hitler surrounded himself with incompetent sycophants who fed his delusions of grandeur.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Are you happy Bush:

    As of Sunday, July 22, 2007, at least 3,632 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,977 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

    The AP count is 11 more than the Defense Department's tally, last updated Friday at 10 a.m. EDT.

    The British military has reported 163 deaths; Italy, 33; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 20; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Denmark, seven; El Salvador, five; Slovakia, four; Latvia, three; Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Romania, South Korea, one death each.

    ___

    ReplyDelete
  90. The national debt (also known as public debt) is money owed by the federal government. As the government represents the people, government debt can be seen as an indirect debt of the taxpayers. The U.S. government incurs debt by issuing treasuries (bills, notes and bonds).

    These securities are either sold on the open market or directly to the Federal Reserve. The U.S. public debt, as of July 17, 2007 stood at $8.887 trillion. In addition to the national debt, the State and Local debt at the end of 2006 stood at just over $2 trillion.

    Some consider that all government liabilities, including those that the government has contracted for but not yet paid, should also be included in the national debt . Corporations must report such liabilities in their annual financial statements under GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).

    These "off-balance sheet" items include future payments for federal pensions, Medicare and Social Security. Inclusion of these obligations would dramatically increase the U.S. national debt to $59.1 trillion or 403% of GDP! On a per capita basis this amounts to $516,348 for every U.S. household! By means of comparison, the average American household owes $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined.

    To Whom Do We Owe the Public Debt?

    The U.S. Treasury publishes a listing of the Major Foreign Holders of the public debt.

    Of the U.S. debt owned by foreigners, central banks own 64% with private investors owning nearly all the rest ( Analytical Perspectives - Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2006 p. 257 ). As of the end of 2006, U.S. treasuries made up 33% of Mainland China's official foreign exchange reserves and 68% of Japan's!

    The magnitude of the foreign-owned portion of the national debt is nearly three times the total amount of currency in circulation! Official numbers released by the Federal Reserve for June 2007 show the volume of currency at US$755 billion .

    The Department of the Treasury publishes The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It . This up-to-date information divides the debt into two sections – Public and Intergovernmental Holdings. The former grouping includes U.S. citizens and foreigners.

    The Federal Reserve

    The Intergovernmental Holdings section refers primarily to governmental borrowing from the Federal Reserve. This is sometimes referred to incorrectly as "the government borrowing from itself".

    To begin with, the twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks are private institutions operating collectively in a quasi-governmental capacity. When the government spends more than it receives in tax revenue, it experiences a budget deficit. To make up this shortfall, it issues new debt. This takes the form of treasuries that are sold on the open market. When there is not sufficient interest in the open market to buy up the required number of treasuries, the government will turn to the Federal Reserve, otherwise known as the "lender of the last resort".

    When the government "borrows" from the Federal Reserve, both the treasuries and the money are literally created out of thin air. These newly acquired government securities increase the assets of the Federal Reserve Bank. This enables it to lend out many times that amount through the fractional reserve banking system. The process, known as "monetizing the debt", is inflationary.

    For example, let us assume that the legislated reserve ratio is 10% and the government requires US$10 billion from the Federal Reserve to cover a shortfall. The government creates US$10 billion in government bonds to give to the Federal Reserve who issues US$10 billion in newly created money to the government. Interest payments on these bonds are paid for by tax revenue and/or additional deficit spending. The Federal Reserve may now legally lend out US$100 billion.

    This credit expansion as a direct result of the U.S. government borrowing from the Federal Reserve dilutes the value of all outstanding currency. When the value of the dollar goes down, prices go up. In effect, it is theft from everyone who holds U.S. currency because they can now buy less with it today than they could have before.

    The U.S. Total Debt

    The Federal Reserve's publications, Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States (also known as the Z.1 Releases) contain a great amount of data regarding money flows between various sectors. Missing from this data set is the portion of debt owed by the federal government to the Federal Reserve. To retrieve that data, one must subtract the Gross Federal Debt held by the Public from Gross National Debt published by the St. Louis Federal Reserve. This data should be added to the Federal Government Debt figures in table D.3 of the Z.1 Release to account for the complete national debt.

    The following chart shows accumulated debt from the national, household and corporate sectors from 1956 to 2006.

    The Housing Bubble

    The household sector has surged nearly 50% since 2001, increasing from $7.66 trillion to 12.82 trillion in 2006. Most of this jump is attributed to mortgage debt that has risen 83% since 2001. This has been what market analysts have been referring to as the "Housing Bubble". Starting in 2001, ordinary citizens became attracted to an increasingly speculative real estate market.

    The combination of increasing money supply ("liquidity") and advent of 40-year low interest rates along with exotic loans (negative amortization, adjustable rate, buy-down, no credit check) encouraged heavy leveraging as house buyers attempted to purchase more expensive houses in hopes of reselling them in a few years at a much higher price to another buyer.

    Marketing of these types of loans reached a crescendo in late-2004 and early-2005. The sub-prime industry offered buy-down mortgages whereby the buyer would pay a discounted interest rate for the first few years (otherwise known as a "teaser rate"). These low starter payments were marketed so that the buyer could "afford home furnishings and renovation projects". When it came time for these interest rates to readjust, many homeowners found that they were unable to cover their monthly mortgage payment.

    As a result of this, the U.S. is currently experiencing a financial meltdown in the sub-prime mortgage industry within the U.S. To date, 99 firms have either gone bankrupt or have dramatically transformed their business. Over 1.4 million homes are currently in some stage of the foreclosure process.

    Time's June 13, 2005 cover article of "Home $weet Home" was taken by some to be indicative of a speculative top and a portent for an upcoming market reversal. Just as Business Week's famous August 13, 1979 cover story called for the end of the stock markets at the moment when the largest bull run was just getting underway.

    But "We Owe it to Ourselves"?

    Does the debt matter, after all, don't we owe it to ourselves? Only if you acknowledge that "we" and "ourselves" are in fact very different entities. The Federal Reserve's Z.1 Release gives insight as to who exactly owes the money, and to whom.

    Clearly this is a one-way street. Households, government and non-financial businesses are becoming more and more indebted to foreigners, banking and financial institutions. Debt is not wealth. It is a claim on future production.

    "The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled." - Cicero. 106-43 B.C.


    monetary system and investment strategies on mining companies.






    The Market Oracle is a FREE Financial Markets Forecasting & Analysis web-site.
    (c) 2005-2007 MarketOracle.co.uk (Walsoft.net) - Market Oracle asserts copyright on all articles authored by our editorial team and all comments posted. Any and all information provided within the web-site, is for general information purposes only and Market Oracle do not warrant the accuracy, timeliness or suitability of any information provided on this site. nor is or shall be deemed to constitute, financial or any other advice or recommendation by us. and are also not meant to be investment advice or solicitation or recommendation to establish market positions. We do not give investment advice and our comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to enter into a market position either stock, option, futures contract, bonds, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. We recommend that independent professional advice is obtained before you make any investment or trading decisions.

    ReplyDelete
  91. That comparison seems very valid to me Larry...........what jumps out to me is YEARS ago there was outrage and the repugs attacked you for highlighting the similarities between GWB and Hitler..........there is NO LONGER outrage or a concerted effort to try and attack the clear similarities that tells me people are starting to become aare of them and the fascist cronnies are NO LONGER capable of defending the undefendable or covering up the truth.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Rice is a failure did you hear Donald Trump basically call her an incompetent failure on national tv!

    ReplyDelete
  93. The similarities of Hitler then and Bush now are comparative in time.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Another example of Bush's economy!

    Growing numbers of the nation's poorest households are using more than half their earnings for rent while waiting years for federal housing assistance that may never come.

    The phenomenon is largely playing out in urban and suburban locales, but has exploded recently in rural areas as coveted rental assistance becomes harder to get due to high demand and scant funding from Congress.

    The lack of affordable homes for poor families is the nation's No. 1 housing problem and undermines the stability and security of families and communities nationwide.

    A new report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development describes the startling growth of the problem since 2003. It found that 6 million impoverished households used most of their monthly earnings for housing or lived in substandard conditions in 2005. That's an increase of 16 percent, or 817,000 families, since 2003.

    The number of rural families facing this dilemma grew by 51 percent to nearly 1 million households over the same two-year span.

    At the same time, these struggling households saw their average monthly incomes decline while their average rent payments increased.

    Despite the considerable squeeze and growing need for help, these 6 million families received no federal rent assistance from HUD. In fact, federal housing assistance reaches only about one in four income-eligible households.

    There's simply not enough to go around, in part because for many years the Bush administration and a compliant Congress have diverted money from housing and other domestic programs to pay for tax cuts and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Lydia,

    When you get back, the then-out issue of National Geographic will have a two-part article on the rise and mysterious fall of the Maya.

    ReplyDelete
  96. The middle class is a thing of the past. Unless of course some capped crusader can fix this thing being done to us. Sounds like a lovely vacation...I just love historical places.

    ReplyDelete
  97. According to a new American Research Group poll, just 25% of Americans approve of the way President Bush is handling his job as president and 71% disapprove. These are record lows for the survey.

    When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 23% approve and 73% disapprove.

    Bush's ratings get lower and his evil gets higher!

    ReplyDelete
  98. AP:

    Frustrated by delays in health care, injured Iraq war veterans accused VA Secretary Jim Nicholson in a lawsuit of breaking the law by denying them disability pay and mental health treatment.

    The class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco, seeks broad changes in the agency as it struggles to meet growing demands from veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Now we know the real reason he resigned.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Washingtonn Post:

    But when it comes to judging the president versus congressional Democrats on the issue of Iraq, the public stands with Congress. Fifty-five percent said they trust congressional Democrats on the war, compared with 32 percent who said they trust Bush. (Eleven percent of all respondents and 17 percent of independents said they trust "neither.") And by 2 to 1, Americans said Congress, rather than the president, should make the final decision about when to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq.

    Can you hear Bush!

    ReplyDelete
  100. Does this make you feel better about Bush's war:

    Halliburton Co. said Monday second-quarter net income more than doubled to $1.5 billion, lifted largely by a $933 million gain from the separation of its former subsidiary, KBR Inc.

    The result for the April-June period, which amounted to $1.62 per share, compared with income of $591 million, or 55 cents a share, in the year-ago period.


    Revenue in the quarter rose 20 percent to $3.7 billion from $3.1 billion a year ago. The oilfield services conglomerate said sales rose worldwide, particularly in the Eastern Hemisphere.


    Excluding the gain from the KBR split, Halliburton said income from continuing operations in the quarter was $595 million, or 63 cents a share, up from $498 million, or 47 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2006.

    Who benefits from the Bush war: Bush, Cheney, Halliburton, Exxon and Chevron.

    ReplyDelete
  101. BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber struck a busy commercial center in a major Shiite city south of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and wounding dozens as the streets were packed with shoppers and people on their way to work, police and hospital officials said.

    "Surge" on Bush!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Anyone watch the Democratic debate?

    No one really distinguished themselves in my opinion!

    ReplyDelete
  103. Bush's Tax Cuts

    A Form of National Insanity

    By ROBERT FREEMAN

    Insanity, said Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. By this measure, the latest Bush tax cuts qualify as certifiably insane.

    Where have we seen this deranged fiscal strategy before? Remember Ronald Reagan and Supply Side Economics? In the early 1980s, Reagan promised the nation that if we lowered tax rates on the wealthy, the economy would grow so much the federal budget would be balanced "within three years, maybe even two."

    Sober people were skeptical-and rightly so. Reagan's Republican opponent for the 1980 presidential election, George H.W. Bush called it "voodoo economics." His own Budget Director, David Stockman, called it a "Trojan horse," a scam intended really to funnel more money to the already rich. Stockman was quickly dismissed.

    The results, we now know, were a disaster. In 1982, the first full year after the tax cuts were enacted, the economy actually shrank 2.2%, the worst performance since the Great Depression. And the effect on the federal budget was catastrophic.

    Jimmy Carter's last budget deficit was $77 billion. Reagan's first deficit was $128 billion. His second deficit exploded to $208 billion. By the time the "Reagan Revolution" was over, George H.W. Bush was running an annual deficit of $290 billion per year.

    Yearly deficits, of course, add up to national debt. When Reagan took office, the national debt stood at $994 billion. When Bush left office, it had reached $4.3 trillion. In other words, the national debt had taken 200 years to reach $1 trillion. Reagan's Supply Side experiment quadrupled it in the next 12 years.

    Is there anything to compare this to? When Bill Clinton took office he intentionally reversed the Supply Side formula, raising taxes on the wealthy and reducing them on the lowest wage earners. Supply Side true believers predicted the arrival of the Apocalypse. Bob Dole said the stock market would collapse. Newt Gingrich said the world would fall into another Great Depression.

    What actually happened?

    Between 1992 and 2000, the U.S. economy produced the longest sustained economic expansion in U.S. history. It created more than 18 million new jobs, the highest level of job creation ever recorded. Inflation fell to 2.5% per year compared to the 4.7% average over the prior 12 years.

    Real interest rates fell by over 40% producing the greatest housing boom ever. Overall economic growth averaged 4.0% per year compared to 2.8% average growth over the 12 years of the Reagan/Bush administrations. Most impressively, Clinton reversed the mammoth deficits of the Supply Side years, turning them into surpluses. He used these surpluses to begin paying down the national debt.

    By virtually every meaningful measure-employment, growth, inflation, interest rates, investment, deficits and debt-the economy performed better once the Supply Side experiment was terminated and replaced with a more honest economic policy where we actually pay our bills as we go.

    This might all be ancient history if the spectre of Supply Side economics had not reared its ugly head again once Bush II took office. In selling his $1.6 trillion tax cut-half of which went to the wealthiest 1% of Americans-Bush promised in 2001 that it would produce 800,000 new jobs. In fact, the economy has lost 2.7 million jobs since Bush took office, again, the worst economic performance since the Great Depression.

    The effects of Bush's tax cut on the deficit and debt are exactly what we would expect having seen Reagan's results-only worse. Bush inherited from Clinton a fiscal surplus of $127 billion. In his first year he turned that into a deficit of $158 billion. In this, his second year, he will run a deficit of over $400 billion-a swing to the worse of over $600 billion in only two years.

    Now Bush has sold us on still another megadose of this same Supply Side voodoo. Two thirds of his new $350 billion tax cut will go to the top 10% of income earners. Bush's Congressional ally, Tom DeLay, promises more such cuts for every year Bush is in office.

    The long term effects of these policies are profoundly damaging. When Bush took office, the government's ten year surplus was forecast to total $5.6 trillion. This was critical to building fiscal soundness as the Baby Boomers begin to retire.

    Now, the ten year forecast projects a cumulative deficit of $1.1 trillion, a net loss of $6.7 trillion in only two years. With the exception of World Wars, this is the greatest, most rapid destruction of public wealth in the history of the world.

    This is $6.7 trillion that is not available to pay for an entire generation's retirement as we promised. It cannot rebuild the nation's schools or retrain the technologically unemployed. It cannot shore up a foundering Medicare system or provide insurance to the more than 40 million Americans without it. The interest costs of funding this debt will soon approach half a trillion dollars a year and will retard investment and, therefore, economic growth for decades to come.

    All this torrent of debt does-and we shouldn't underestimate the prodigious potency of this feat-is line the pockets of Bush's already gorged campaign contributors.

    Rarely in public affairs do we have the luxury of such starkly clear, empirically proven, historically sound contrasts. If Bush's tax cuts do not represent a fiscal process wildly out of control it is hard to imagine what does. And sadly, per Einstein's insanity dictum, we've seen it all before.

    Bush wants people to believe these losses are due to a recession he inherited from Bill Clinton. But the economy has grown for seven of the last eight quarters Bush has been in office, hardly a recessionary environment. In truth, the losses owe to a reckless economic philosophy, the failings of which have been conclusively, and now repeatedly, demonstrated.

    We need to wake up from our patriotism-besotted, war-induced stupor. Losses and debts of this magnitude threaten our nation's well being far more than do fictive weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a two bit, third world thug. Destroying our fiscal patrimony at the very moment we need it most-when history shows we should know better-is nothing short of national insanity.

    Robert Freeman writes about economics, technology and education from Palo Alto, CA. He can be reached at:

    ReplyDelete
  104. Well, it looks like Gonzo and Rove are toast! :)

    ReplyDelete
  105. Bush is too... illegal wiretaps without warrant and U.S. Attorney firings..

    Bring on the Impeachment!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  106. Suzie:

    Don't bet on Bush and his boys being out yet.

    Scum always seeps through the cracks.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Washington Post:

    On Jan. 4, just after the 2006 elections tossed the Republicans out of congressional power, Rove met at the White House with six U.S. ambassadors to key European missions and the consul general to Bermuda while the diplomats were in Washington for a State Department conference.

    According to a department letter to the Senate panel, Rove explained the White House views on the electoral disaster while Sara M. Taylor, then the director of White House political affairs, showed a PowerPoint presentation that pinned most of the electoral blame on "corrupt" GOP lawmakers and "complacent incumbents." One chart in Taylor's presentation highlighted the GOP's top 36 targets among House Democrats for the 2008 election.

    In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, asked whether the briefings inappropriately politicized the diplomatic agencies or violated prohibitions against political work by most federal employees.

    "I do not understand why ambassadors, in Washington on official duty, would be briefed by White House officials on which Democratic House members are considered top targets by the Republican party for defeat in 2008. Nor do I understand why department employees would need to be briefed on 'key media markets' in states that are 'competitive' for the president," Biden wrote.

    His aides said Biden plans to raise the matter at a confirmation hearing today for Henrietta Holsman Fore to be administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, whose political appointees received at least two White House briefings in the past 10 months, as well as at an oversight hearing tomorrow on the Peace Corps.

    Down goes Rove!

    ReplyDelete
  108. Poor Gonzo:

    WASHINGTON - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales denied Tuesday that he and former White House chief of staff Andy Card tried to exploit then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s frail condition by pressuring him to recertify President Bush’s intelligence-gathering program during a now-famous 2004 hospital visit.

    Gonzales said that he and Card had been urged by congressional leaders of both parties to take steps necessary to ensure that the unidentified intelligence program survive a looming deadline for its expiration. To do that, Gonzales said, he needed Ashcroft’s permission.

    At the time, Ashcroft was in an intensive care unit recovering from gall bladder surgery and Gonzales was Bush’s White House legal counsel. Ashcroft had transferred the powers of his office to Deputy Attorney General James Comey.

    “We went there because we thought it was important for him to know where the congressional leadership was on this,” Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee in his first public explanation of the meeting.

    “Clearly if he had been competent and understood the facts and had been inclined to do so, yes we would have asked him,” Gonzales added. “Andy Card and I didn’t press him. We said ‘Thank you’ and we left.”

    Conflicting version of events
    Gonzales’ version conflicts with Comey’s.

    “I was angry,” Comey testified in May, releasing details of the meeting for the first time. “I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general.”

    Democrats and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., pressed Gonzales about the visit, saying it raised the question of whether the attorney general’s loyalty to Bush damaged his judgment.

    But it was only one of a large selection of issues on which lawmakers pounded Bush’s longtime friend during the tense proceedings Tuesday.

    “I don’t trust you,” Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., told Gonzales.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Reuters:

    Countrywide Financial Corp. Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo said the U.S. housing market is unlikely to recover before 2009, as lenders and homeowners work through oversupply, stagnating home prices, and the excesses of recent lax lending standards in much of the mortgage industry.

    More of the faltering Bush economy!

    ReplyDelete
  110. Bush taking care of drug companies:

    Two years ago, when companies received a big tax break to bring home their offshore profits, the president and Congress justified it as a one-time tax amnesty that would create American jobs.

    Paying Less Drug makers were the biggest beneficiaries of the amnesty program, repatriating about $100 billion in foreign profits and paying only minimal taxes. But the companies did not create many jobs in return. Instead, since 2005 the American drug industry has laid off tens of thousands of workers in this country.

    And now drug companies are once again using complex strategies, many of them demonstrably legal, to shelter billions of dollars in profits in international tax havens, according to their financial statements and independent tax experts.

    In one popular accounting move, companies declare their foreign markets as far more profitable than their American businesses — even though drug prices are typically higher in the United States than anywhere else in the world.

    Drug makers are not the only American multinationals using tax loopholes to declare large portions of their income beyond the reach of the Internal Revenue Service. The Brookings Institution estimates that multinational companies are using overseas tax shelters to lower their payments to the Treasury by about $50 billion a year.

    But the drug industry accounts for one of the biggest portions of that shortfall, according to the I.R.S. and independent tax experts. And the nature of their business gives drug makers techniques, like sheltering valuable pharmaceutical patents in tax-friendly havens like Ireland, that many other industries cannot use.

    Moreover, the sheer heft of the American drug industry, which had about $60 billion in pretax profits last year, can give disproportionate weight to the economic impact of its tax sheltering techniques.

    Bush favoring the corrupt drug companies over the people!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Lydia, you're most welcome, and thank you. As I read your description of the fall of the Mayan civilization, I could not help making the same comparisons you did.

    ReplyDelete
  112. "Temple of the Masonry Altars."

    Not to be confused with the "Rectory of the Tupperware" just down the road in Tegicualpa...

    ReplyDelete
  113. A suicide car bomber has struck a busy marketplace in the Iraqi town of Hilla, killing at least 22 people and wounding more than 60.
    "Most of the wounded were women and children, and the blast destroyed 15 vehicles," Lieutenant Eid al-Shammari told Agence France Presse news agency.

    Are you happy now Bush!

    ReplyDelete
  114. Another Bush scare tactic:

    CHARLESTON, S.C. - President Bush on Tuesday lashed out at critics who say that al-Qaida's operation in Iraq is distinct from terrorists who attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

    "The merger between al-Qaida and its Iraqi affiliate is an alliance of killers and that is why the finest military in the world is on their trail," Bush said.

    Citing security details he declassified for his speech, Bush described al-Qaida's burgeoning operation in Iraq as a direct threat to the United States. Bush accused critics in Congress of misleading the American public by suggesting otherwise.

    "That's like watching a man walk into a bank with a mask and a gun and saying, 'He's probably just there to cash a check,'" Bush told troops at Charleston Air Force Base.

    Bush is up against highly skeptical audiences with 18 months left in office. The public has largely lost faith in the war, Congress is weighing ways to end it, and international partners have fading memories of the 2001 attacks against the U.S.

    In Washington, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Bush "is trying to scare the American people into believing that al Qaida is the rationale for continuing the war in Iraq." But Kerry said Bush presented no new evidence to back that up, and added: "The president is picking the wrong rationale for this war. Al-Qaida is not the principal killer of American forces in Iraq."

    In broad strokes, Bush linked the Iraq war to an event that Americans remember deeply — the Sept. 11 attacks, not the sectarian strife among Iraqis, which has caused some to question U.S. military involvement.

    Al-Qaida, led by Osama bin Laden, orchestrated the terrorist strikes on the United States by turning hijacked airplanes into killing machines. That was almost six years ago. Now a fresh intelligence estimate warns that the United States is in a heightened threat environment, mainly from al-Qaida. The terror group is seizing upon its affiliate, al-Qaida in Iraq, to recruit members and organize attacks, the report found.

    "I've presented intelligence that clearly establishes this connection," Bush said after spelling out details of foreign ties and leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq.

    Fear before martial law: Bush's plan!

    ReplyDelete
  115. "When economic power became concentrated in a few hands, then political power flowed to those possessors and away from the citizens, ultimately resulting in an oligarchy or tyranny."

    John Adams

    ReplyDelete
  116. “I was angry,” Comey testified in May, releasing details of the meeting for the first time. “I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general.”

    Democrats and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., pressed Gonzales about the visit, saying it raised the question of whether the attorney general’s loyalty to Bush damaged his judgment.

    But it was only one of a large selection of issues on which lawmakers pounded Bush’s longtime friend during the tense proceedings Tuesday.

    “I don’t trust you,” Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., told Gonzales."


    I dont trust that piece of human waste either........Gonzalez NEEDS to removed from the levers of power like a canerous tumor.

    That is a KEY point that Gonzalez who was the Presidents attorney and the Presidents Chief of staff tried to pull a fast one and dishonestly, immorally and illegally try to take advantage of a man who was incapacitated and not of sound mind to make important decisions.........but even MORE IMPORTANTLY WAS NOT EVEN THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL........and Bush and his minions had to KNOW this or else he should be impeached for incompetence and gross negligence because it was his DUTY to KNOW that..........No GWB tried to do an end around and illegally tried to get someone to rubber stamp and push through his ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL spying on AMERICAN CITIZENS program.......and he once again clearly showed his contempt for the US Constitution and the rule of law.........and for that he should be impeached and removed from office.

    ReplyDelete
  117. If this doesn't put Rove and Gonzo in jail, nothing will.

    ReplyDelete
  118. I'd pay money to see Gonzo and Rove frog marched out of the WIte House in handcuffs.........they could sell that one on payperview!!!

    ReplyDelete
  119. Both will escape as always, and the only frogmarch will be the American people into further despair.

    ReplyDelete
  120. With a White House as press shy as President Bush's, sometimes you have to travel very far from Washington, maybe even to the middle of nowhere, to find out what's really going on. Try Twin Lakes, Colo., population 20, which is where Karl Rove stopped recently and dropped some clues to the owner of an inn about what life after Bush might entail for him.

    Rove stopped at the Twin Lakes Nordic Lodge, which sits across the road from a peaceful clear lake surrounded by lush, green yet still snow-capped mountains, for a bathroom and coffee break on his way to Aspen two weeks ago. The owner of the lodge, Charlie Gandy, says Rove told him he has "still got legal bills to pay" and that he plans to "write books" after he leaves the White House 18 months from now when the Bush administration comes to an end.

    What will he write about: How To Destroy The Country!

    ReplyDelete
  121. Bush is like a broken record him and Dunce Cheney keep trying to justify their illegal invasion by saying they are fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq........what they fail to be honest about was Al Qaeda didnt set up shop in Iraq until we opened the door for them by destabilizing it with an illegal war.........What they also fail to say is that the percentage of Al Qaeda in Iraq is relatively small........we are in the middle of a sectarian civil war caused by Bush's illegal, unneccessary and stupid invasion all the deaths are Bush's fault.

    Bush abandoned fighting the war on terror against the terrorist that really attacked us in Afghanistan to fight a war for oil and special interests...namely his oil croinnies and for that he should be charged with treason.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Bush has one goal and that is to become the self imposed emperor of the world, and his lies to destruction will continue to leave nothing in his path.

    ReplyDelete
  123. What type of book would that brrownshirt write........."the Rise of the 4th Reich"

    or "Meinkamph by KKKarl Rove"?

    ReplyDelete
  124. Either would fit his moniker.

    ReplyDelete
  125. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Bush will be a laughing stock when he leaves office that no one respects or cares to listen to............he will turn back to the bottle and coke when he no longer has the power to get the attention and respect he craves...........Georgie is allready punchdrunk on his own power when that ends he will turn to another form of intoxication and self delusion namely alcohol.

    ReplyDelete
  127. ABC News Poll:

    55% favor Democrats in war.

    32% favor Bush

    ReplyDelete
  128. Bush will be remembered as a pompous megalomaniac drunk.

    ReplyDelete
  129. His legacy wil be one of arrogance, incompetence, and absolute failure!

    ReplyDelete
  130. Bush has shown his mother is the only one that could love such a mess, and her sanity is in question.

    ReplyDelete
  131. The Bush Administration is the worst of the Nixon and Reagan Administrations multiplied 50 fold!

    ReplyDelete
  132. Bush needs frog marched to a prison camp for insane animals.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Bush will make the Hoover depression look like a small glitch, when his economy is finished.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Olbermann will focus on Gonzo's lies tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Hopefully it will be on Youtube because I dont get MSNBC!

    ReplyDelete
  136. Sometimes MSNBC has videos of Olbermann after his show. It will be on the Countdown page.

    ReplyDelete
  137. What is he having like a 3 hour special or something because it would take WAY more than an hour to focus on all of Gonzalez's lies and Obstructions of Justice!

    ReplyDelete
  138. I think he will just give it his usual wit that covers all bounds.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Reuters:

    Fallout from a crisis in the U.S. subprime mortgage market rattled the auto sector on Tuesday after the debt package for a General Motors asset sale was postponed and borrowing costs on automakers' debt surged.

    The $3.5 billion bank loan financing for the buyout of GM's (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Allison Transmission unit was the largest leveraged loan deal to be postponed this year and came as hedge funds exited the market for the low-rated bonds, according to Reuters Loan Pricing Corp.

    Concerns about fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis and an overhang of about $250 billion in leveraged loan financing that needs to be completed have caused investors to retreat to the sidelines.

    "Wall Street's very skittish right now and as a result no one is willing to put their necks out," said Brad Rubin, senior auto sector trading specialist for BNP Paribas.

    The continuing collapse of the Bush economy!

    ReplyDelete
  140. If people don't stand up soon, they will be sitting in a state of eternal martial law,Bush style.



    Only if you live in the old CSA.

    I said it, and I'll stick by it. The monkey will NEVER get most of the elements he needs to impose martial law to go along with him. He'll just give ambitious Governors a reason to bolt, which they certainly will.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Gonzales denies pressuring Ashcroft on spying
    AG defends 2004 hospital visit; Specter raises idea of special prosecutor

    Updated: 10:44 a.m. MT July 24, 2007
    WASHINGTON - Alberto Gonzales denied Tuesday that he and former White House chief of staff Andy Card tried during to pressure a hospitalized Attorney General John Ashcroft to recertify President Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program.

    But lawmakers continued to press for answers from a recalcitrant White House, with one senior Republican raising the prospect of a special prosecutor to probe areas where Bush has blocked Congress.

    “The constitutional authority and responsibility for congressional oversight is gone,” said Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican. “If that is to happen, the president can run the government as he chooses, answer no questions.”

    Glaring at Gonzales just a few feet away at the witness table, Specter declared, “The attorney general has the authority to appoint a special prosecutor.” He added later that a special prosecutor would be one of several options to consider months from now, if the Senate cites Bush administration officials with contempt of Congress.

    Democrats weren’t likely to stand in the way.

    “I don’t trust you,” Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., told Gonzales, who succeeded Ashcroft as attorney general.

    A sick Ashcroft
    Gonzales’ credibility remained at issue throughout the proceedings, with senators of both parties growing exasperated and at some points accusing the attorney general of intentionally misleading the committee.

    But the story about Gonzales’ famous 2004 hospital visit elicited the most anger from senators because it addressed the concerns of some that the attorney general’s loyalty to the president damaged his judgment and the Justice Department’s independence.

    Gonzales said that he and Card had been urged by congressional leaders of both parties to take steps necessary to ensure that the unidentified intelligence program survive a looming deadline for its expiration. To do that, Gonzales said, he needed Ashcroft’s permission.

    At the time, Ashcroft was in an intensive care unit recovering from gall bladder surgery and Gonzales was Bush’s White House legal counsel. Ashcroft had transferred the powers of his office to Deputy Attorney General James Comey.

    “We went there because we thought it was important for him to know where the congressional leadership was on this,” Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee in his first public explanation of the meeting.

    “Clearly if he had been competent and understood the facts and had been inclined to do so, yes we would have asked him,” Gonzales added. “Andy Card and I didn’t press him. We said ’Thank you’ and we left.”

    Conflicting version of events
    Gonzales’ version conflicts with Comey’s.

    “I was angry,” Comey testified in May, releasing details of the meeting for the first time. “I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general.”

    Comey said that he and Ashcroft had decided against recertifying the classified program. There were concerns at the time about whether the domestic eavesdropping program violated civil liberties. The program was slated to expire on March 11, 2004, if not recertified by Justice.

    But Gonzales said Tuesday that he did not know whether Ashcroft had made a decision or whether he had been aware of Comey’s objections. Furthermore, he said, House and Senate leaders of both parties urged him during an emergency meeting earlier on March 10 to make sure the program survived the deadline.

    “How can you get approval from Ashcroft for anything when he’s under sedation and incapacitated? For anything?” Specter asked.

    “We would not have sought nor did we intend to seek to get any approval from General Ashcroft if in fact he was not fully competent to make that decision,” Gonzales replied.

    “I’m not making any progress here,” Specter snapped.

    Intentionally misleading?
    Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., grilled Gonzales on whether the attorney general provided misleading statements when he said there had been no dissenting views in the administration on the domestic surveillance program that then operated without warrants.

    “How can you say you haven’t deceived the committee?” Schumer asked.

    Gonzales stood by his comments.

    “The disagreement that occurred, and the reason for the visit to the hospital, senator, was about other intelligence activities,” Gonzales said, refusing to say what the other program might be.

    “How can you say you should stay on as attorney general when we go through exercises like this?” Schumer asked. “You want to be attorney general, you should be able to clarify it yourself.”

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told Gonzales that he believes the attorney general intentionally misled the committee about which program caused dissent among administration officials.

    Gonzales said he couldn’t say in an unclassified setting, but offered to go into more detail in private meetings with senators.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Panel ready for legal clash with Bush for firings
    Gonzales responds to House committee, says he will not quit.

    By Dan Eggen
    Washington Post Staff Writer

    Updated: 3:09 a.m. MT July 24, 2007
    The House Judiciary Committee announced yesterday that it will press toward a constitutional showdown with the Bush administration over the U.S. attorney firings scandal, even as embattled Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales vowed to stay on and "fix the problems" that have damaged the reputation and morale of the Justice Department .

    John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), chairman of the committee, said it will vote on Wednesday on contempt citations for the White House chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten , and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers . Both refused congressional demands for information on the dismissals after President Bush invoked executive privilege.

    The move puts House Democrats on a legal collision course with the White House, which said last week that it will not allow the Justice Department to prosecute executive branch officials for being in contempt of Congress.

    Gonzales's promise to remain in office, made in written testimony to be delivered today before the Senate Judiciary Committee , comes as many Justice Department employees say they are dispirited and have little confidence in their politically wounded leader.


    Click for related content
    Gonzales vows to fix department image
    Most members of Gonzales's senior staff have resigned or are on the way out. Several outside candidates turned down chances to be considered for the job of his deputy, and more than a half-dozen other top positions remain filled by temporary appointees. Some of the department's key legislative priorities — including intelligence law revisions and anti-crime proposals — have also bogged down because of the fight with Democrats over the prosecutor firings.

    "It takes away from normal work," one recently departed Justice official said about the persistent controversy over Gonzales's role in the firings and the use of improper political considerations in hiring career employees. "It obviously has a serious impact," said the former official, who would discuss the department's internal workings only if not identified.

    GOP members join call for Gonzales' resignation
    Many lawmakers, including some Republicans, have said that Gonzales should resign. But in his testimony, released yesterday, Gonzales said: "I could walk away or I could devote my time, effort and energy to fix the problems. Since I have never been one to quit, I decided that the best course of action was to remain here."

    Referring indirectly to criticism that young, ideologically oriented aides such as former senior counselor Monica M. Goodling made improper decisions, Gonzales said, "I will continue to make efforts to ensure that my staff and others within the department have the appropriate experience and judgment so that previous mistakes will not be repeated."

    Gonzales again depicted himself as largely detached from controversial personnel practices, including the firings of the nine U.S. attorneys last year. But in a video message to Justice Department employees on Friday, he said, "I am sorry, and I accept full responsibility."

    "I am troubled because the allegations regarding the politicization of this historic institution — an institution that stands for and protects the rights of the citizens of the greatest, most free nation on Earth — have occurred on my watch," Gonzales said, according to a transcript.

    Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said yesterday: "We are confident that the men and women of the department are working distraction-free, protecting our neighborhoods from violent gangs, preventing acts of terrorism and protecting our children from predators."

    In the House, Conyers said the decision to move forward with contempt proceedings was made reluctantly, but he asserted that the committee had few options in the face of the White House's refusal to comply with committee subpoenas. "It is still my hope that they will reconsider this hard-line position and cooperate with our investigation so that we can get to the bottom of this matter," Conyers said.

    Bush maintains details are private
    The panel's move comes after months of legal feuding between congressional Democrats and Bush. He has declared that details about the firings are protected from disclosure by executive privilege and need not be shared with Congress.

    The U.S. attorney firings last year — including seven on one day in December — came after a two-year effort by senior White House and Justice Department aides that targeted prosecutors for removal based in part on their perceived loyalty to the Bush administration and the GOP .

    Several of the prosecutors were improperly contacted by GOP lawmakers or staff members about active criminal probes of corruption involving elected officials. Justice investigators are looking into whether civil service laws were violated in other hiring and firing decisions.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Poll finds Democrats favored on war
    But both Bush, Congress both get low ratings on Iraq

    By Jon Cohen and Dan Balz


    Updated: 12:21 a.m. MT July 24, 2007
    Most Americans see President Bush as intransigent on Iraq and prefer that the Democratic-controlled Congress make decisions about a possible withdrawal of U.S. forces, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    As the president and Congress spar over war policy, both receive negative marks from the public for their handling of the situation in Iraq. But by a large margin, Americans trust Democrats rather than the president to find a solution to a conflict that remains enormously unpopular. And more than six in 10 in the new poll said Congress should have the final say on when to bring the troops home.

    The president has steadfastly asserted his power as commander in chief to make decisions about the war, but his posture is now viewed by majorities of Democrats, independents and even Republicans as too inflexible. Asked whether Bush is willing enough to change policies on Iraq, nearly eight in 10 Americans said no.

    All-time low
    Since December, the percentage seeing Bush as too rigid has increased 12 points, with the most significant change among Republicans. Just after the 2006 midterm elections and the release of the 79-point plan from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, 55 percent of Republicans thought Bush was willing enough to change course in Iraq; in this poll, 55 percent of Republicans said he is not.

    Bush's overall approval rating equals its all-time low in Post-ABC News polls at 33 percent, with 65 percent disapproving. Fifty-two percent said they "strongly" disapprove of his job performance, the highest figure of his presidency and more than three times the 16 percent who strongly approve.

    Three-quarters of Republicans approve of the way he is handling his job, but just one in 10 Democrats and three in 10 independents give him positive marks.

    The war has been the single biggest drag on the president's approval ratings.

    Thirty-one percent give him positive marks on handling the situation in Iraq, which is near his career low on the issue. The last time a majority approved of the president's handling of the war was in January 2004.

    Even among those Americans who said they had served or had a close friend or relative who served in Iraq, 38 percent approve of Bush's handling of the conflict.

    Congress little better
    At the same time, Congress fares little better with the public on the war. Just 35 percent said they approve of the way congressional Democrats are handling the situation in Iraq, with 63 percent disapproving. Two-thirds of independents give the Democrats negative marks on the war.

    The latest poll was conducted July 18 to 21 among a random sample of 1,125 adults, just after Senate Democrats failed to pass legislation that would set a timetable for the start of troop withdrawals from the war zone. The results have a three-percentage-point margin of sampling error.

    Overall approval of Congress stands at 37 percent in the new poll, with the 60 percent disapproval rating equal to public dissatisfaction with the Republican-controlled Congress late last year. Congress's approval rating has declined over the past three months because self-identified Democrats have soured in their assessment.

    Congressional Democrats still receive higher marks than their Republican counterparts for their performance, but independents give both parties equally negative reviews.

    But when it comes to judging the president versus congressional Democrats on the issue of Iraq, the public stands with Congress. Fifty-five percent said they trust congressional Democrats on the war, compared with 32 percent who said they trust Bush. (Eleven percent of all respondents and 17 percent of independents said they trust "neither.") And by 2 to 1, Americans said Congress, rather than the president, should make the final decision about when to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. Nearly three in 10 Republicans side with Congress over the president on this question.

    Many would like Congress to assert itself on Iraq, and about half of poll respondents said congressional Democrats have done "too little" to get Bush to change his war policy. Democrats are especially eager for more action from their party's lawmakers: 61 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of liberal Democrats said not enough has been done to prod Bush on the issue.

    Mirrors partisan divide
    The central challenge for legislators from both parties is that the deep schism in Congress over Iraq war policy mirrors a wide partisan divide on many questions about the situation there.

    Overall attitudes about the conflict continue to be decidedly negative, with more than six in 10 saying that given the costs, the war was not worth fighting. Most Democrats and independents in the poll said the war was not worth fighting, but most Republicans continue to say it has been worth the costs.

    And the broad disagreements between partisans are not isolated to previous decisions.

    A narrow majority -- 55 percent -- support legislation that would set a deadline of next spring for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, but while that measure is backed by 72 percent of Democrats and six in 10 independents, only a quarter of Republicans are on board.

    A Senate effort to append such a timeline to a defense authorization bill failed to get the requisite 60 votes in the Senate; it was defeated 52 to 47.

    There is also no agreement across party lines on the timing of U.S. troop withdrawals. About six in 10 said forces should be withdrawn to avoid further casualties, even if civil order is not restored, and 56 percent want to decrease the forces in Iraq. Both figures are at new highs, but few Republicans agree with either position.

    No consensus on timing
    Even among Democrats, there is no consensus about the timing of any troop withdrawal. While three-quarters want to decrease the number of troops in Iraq, only a third advocate a complete, immediate withdrawal. There is even less support for that option among independents (15 percent) and Republicans (6 percent).

    There is, however, more universal, bipartisan backing for several other proposals that have been floated, including changing the strategic mission from direct combat to training and support, instituting new rules on troop rest time, and reducing aid to the Iraqi government if it fails to meet certain benchmarks. Majorities across party lines support each of these potential policy shifts.

    Few are confident that the Iraqi government has the ability to meet its commitments to restore civil order. But again partisan views diverge: 55 percent of Republicans are at least somewhat confident that the Iraqis will meet their benchmarks, an outlook shared by about three in 10 Democrats and independents.

    And as for the new U.S. efforts to restore security in Iraq, most in the poll said the "surge" has not made much difference, and nearly two-thirds said that the additional troops will not improve the situation over the next few months.

    This broad pessimism provides an early read that the public may not be as willing as some in Congress to suspend judgment about the strategy until Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, delivers his much-anticipated assessment in mid-September.

    ReplyDelete